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No drunk-tweeting and the 60-second rule: What we can all learn from official advice to MPs

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A new report has been published telling politicians how to behave on Twitter - and it offers surprisingly universal advice.

The guidance was commissioned by House of Commons Speaker John Bercow in a bid to to steer MPs away from online gaffes, but contains relatable tips for anyone who's trigger-happy on Twitter.

Face-saving suggestions include imposing a "60-second rule," which means waiting for a minute after writing a tweet before posting it and "not tweeting while drunk."

"We now no longer live in a 24-hour news cycle, but in a 24-second news cycle, which is the length of time it takes to compose a tweet and for it to be retweeted," warns the report, which was published by The Sun on Sunday.

It follows a series of high-profile political Twitter bloopers, including Ed Balls infamously tweeting his own name in 2011 after apparently hitting the 'send' button when he was searching for tweets about himself.

While the average user may not have thousands of constituents hanging off their every tweet, there's always the chance that an employer, for example, could see that angry, drunken complaint about late trains or lack of mobile reception.

"Tweet about things normal people are interested in like music, sport, films and TV," said the report. "But make it genuine, don't fake an interest in your local football team or Coronation Street if that's not your thing."

Other Twitter tips for MPs that we could all learn from:

• Don’t constantly retweet praise because or sarcastically retweet tweets that criticise you. It is too aggrandising and pompous

• Hashtags improve engagement, but should be used sparingly

• Talk less than you listen

• Don’t favourite things to remind you to look at them in case they’re actually embarrassing

• Tell the truth, all the time

The guide was produced for Parliament by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations at no cost to the taxpayer.

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